Perhaps the most popular destination for hunters, both European and Western, the Kingdom of Spain has a hunting heritage that goes back more than 800 years. The kings and their courtiers enjoyed the country’s bountiful wildlife resource with elaborate hunting rituals and ceremonies long before they sent Columbus to explore the “new world” in 1492. In the 19th century the right to hunt devolved from royal prerogative and became associated with landowner rights. Since that time magnificent game reserves and a system of national parks, wherein hunting is a long established tool in modern game management, have been created. Today Spain has one of the most progressive and intensive wildlife management systems in the world, producing stable populations and excellent trophy quality of their native species.
A bit smaller than the sates of Arizona and New Mexico combined, Spain is blessed with a mild Mediterranean climate and a variety in terrain and ecosystems. With mountains in the north, south central, and west of the country, as well as rich rolling hill country, interspersed with forests and agricultural land, Spain offers the traveling sportsman a long list of game animals, some of which are unique to the Iberian Peninsula. It also has the second largest tourism industry in the world ,with superb infrastructure and all the amenities any traveler could ask for.
Spain is perhaps most famous for its several varieties of wild goats, respectfully regarded as ibex, by the international hunting community. In the GredosMountains, near Madrid, the largest form, the Gredos ibex, is found. Further east, the Beceite ibex inhabits the mountains of Valencia, and finally, in the coastal mountains of Andalusia, we find the Ronda and Southeastern ibex, the two smallest varieties of Spanish ibex.
Spain is also home to two subspecies of chamois – the Pyrenean chamois of the Pyrenean mountains, which separate Spain from France, and the Cantabrian chamois from the Cantabrian mountains of the north coast. These chamois are the world’s smallest two breeds of chamois. The hunts for these chamois take place in breathtakingly beautiful scenery, based out of quaint villages with a rural charm.
Spain has its own subspecies of red stag, slightly smaller than the stags of the European mainland. It is also home to magnificent fallow deer, which develop excellent trophy quality due to the mild climate, as well as huge mouflon rams and a large population of wild boar. Wolves may be hunted by special permit only and roe deer may be hunted in the agricultural areas.
Spain is also one of the most interesting countries to visit for its cultural and artistic treasures. Madrid, the capital of this constitutional monarchy, became the cultural center of the country during the “Golden Age” of Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries. Today it is a historical bonanza for tourists. Fine foods and wines compliment the many sights to see. Granada in the south has long been a mecca for those interested in the beautiful Moorish architecture. The quality of guiding, lodging, food, and other amenities is outstanding in Spain and the variety of sightseeing activities, which can be added to a client’s hunting itinerary, is unparalleled.
Hunt Europe knows this country very well and is proud to represent several of Spain’s leading operators.
Aoudad or Barbary Sheep
Eurasian Wild Boar
European Fallow Deer
European Roe Deer
Iberian Red Deer
Southeastern Spanish Ibex